Net Zero: Working with the next generation

Net Zero: Working with the next generation

The impacts of climate change will be felt now and into the future.

How we act now will have a direct impact on the next generation.

"Climate change is one of the greatest challenges that our children will face, and we must prepare them for the challenges that lie ahead."

Councillor Paula Holland
Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Engaging young people and students in climate change discussions is fundamentally important to ensuring that they understand how the world is changing, what our human impact has been on the climate, as well as setting out a plan for how society can adapt and take the necessary steps to ensure a sustainable future.

Our aim is to involve children, young people and students in initiatives which will help them to contribute to delivering a Net Zero

We will do this by:

  1. Ensuring that children, young people and students are invited to participate in, and are represented in a meaningful way in, Climate Change Summits and the Citizen’s Assembly.
    For example, the Centre for Life held a Youth Summit in January 2020 on climate change.
  2. Establishing a mechanism through which students can undertake research projects on climate change with organisations in the region and to add value to real world Net Zero projects, as part of their academic studies.
  3. Developing a network of Student Climate Change Champions to deliver sessions in schools and with voluntary and community groups across the region on how young people can understand the impacts of climate change and important actions that they can take individually and collectively to solve climate change issues.

Children and Young People in Newcastle

There are approximately 61,000 children and young people living in Newcastle (0-18 years).

Each year more than 6,000 young people aged 11-18 in Newcastle take part in the national, annual Make your Mark campaign.

In 2019 young people voted for ‘Protect our environment’ as the most important issue in Newcastle.

As a group, the Youth Democracy Group, led by Youth Parliament will work on this issue locally and regionally over the coming

Protect our Environment is also a national campaign for the Youth Parliament.

Students in Newcastle

Universities are hugely important to the economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of the places in which they are located.

There are more than 50,000 people studying in Newcastle’s three higher education providers.

The Students in Newcastle Forum (SINF) is a strategic group that brings together Newcastle City Council, students and senior management from Newcastle University, Northumbria University and Newcastle Colleges Group as well as a range of strategic partners such as the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Groups) and Police to discuss issues relating to the student community in Newcastle.

Student Union representatives also sit on the SINF, providing a direct link with students in the city.

SINF is used to raise, update on and discuss key issues for students across the city, with climate change a topical issue for the forum.

Students have shown not only a commitment to contributing to city-wide action and events but also play a huge role in encouraging their unions and settings to make changes and sign up to the climate change agenda.

Newcastle Student Climate Change Summit & Net Zero Innovation Challenge

The Newcastle Student Climate Change Summit took place on March 1 2021 - Further information and the summit slides are available on our Net Zero Events page.

University climate change information

Please find out more about the climate plans and policies that Newcastle and Northumbria universities have in place via the links below.

  1. Northumbria University Environmental Sustainability Policy
  2. Northumbria University Sustainability Annual Report (2019-20)
  3. Newcastle University Climate Emergency Statement
  4. Newcastle University Climate Action Plan
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